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Integration Definition

Integration is the process of computing or obtaining an integral, either a definite integral or an indefinite integral. A more archaic term for integration is quadrature. Integration is one of the two main operations of calculus, with its inverse or opposite operation, differentiation, being the other.


The principles of integration were formulated independently by Isaac Newton and Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz in the late 17th century, who thought of the integral as an infinite sum of rectangles of infinitesimal width. Bernhard Riemann gave a rigorous mathematical definition of integrals. It is based on a limiting procedure that approximates the area of a curvilinear region by breaking the region into thin vertical slabs. Beginning in the 19th century, more sophisticated notions of integrals began to appear, where the type of the function as well as the domain over which the integration is performed has been generalised. A line integral is defined for functions of two or more variables, and the interval of integration [a, b] is replaced by a curve connecting the two endpoints. In a surface integral, the curve is replaced by a piece of a surface in three-dimensional space.


“Integration.” From Wolfram MathWorld, mathworld.wolfram.com/Integration.html.

“Integral.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 27 Apr. 2020, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Integral.


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